On Saturday afternoon, I was hanging out in Atlanta, with a lot of family, at a big lunch. At about 3:30, my uncle rushed back into the room with a big smile and yelled, “GATORS GOT DJ HUMPHRIES!!!”
As a megaGator fan, I know all of our players, all of our incoming recruits, and I know who we’re recruiting that has yet to decide on a school. The name was familiar, I knew he was a top ranked offensive lineman, and that Florida wanted him, but it was in the back of my head.
Within seconds the rest came flooding back to me- not just a top ranked lineman, but THE top lineman in the entire class, from nearby North Carolina. And a great compliment to Jessamen Dunker.
Then I acted swiftly. I immediately got hold of him, talked to him, and got a pretty sweet distinction: the first Gator website to get to talk to him and ask him about his feelings.
So, here we go:
Neil: Welcome to Gator Nation! How long did you know in your heart that you would be a Gator?
DJ: Probably since I left the junior day… so March.
Neil: How close are you to the other big time players from North Carolina? Do you think you can give Florida a hand in recruiting that area?
DJ: Definitely, I’m pretty tight with a lot of the NC boys.
Neil: You’re pretty fast for an offensive lineman- pretty fast in general, really. Do you think this will help you have an immediate impact as a freshman?
DJ: Sure, it should help a lot. That should get me into positions that not everybody can get to, and to come at some surprising angles and get a good block on anybody foolish enough to try to get to Jeff Driskel.
Neil: What are your thoughts on Driskel? Are you excited to play with him?
DJ: I love the way he plays he’s got so much swag back there plus he’s got a cannon for an arm and he can run pretty well. That makes it so easy to have trust in him, because I know if I do my job, he’ll do his and make plays.
Neil: You seem to have a great balance of maturity and playfulness. How do you think that will help you?
DJ: That’s always been me, and it’s always worked out for the best for me. People have always been more willing to work with me when they see I’m not stiff.
Neil: How excited are you to join forces with Jessamen Dunker?
DJ: Incredibly excited. We’ve already started getting to know each other. I love it, we should be a force, we are the only two mid year guys.
Neil: You were forced to switch from tight end to offensive tackle a few years ago. How well have you adjusted, and how much of a life lesson do you think it is?
DJ: It was actually an easy switch, I wasn’t that good at tight end and it showed me that my coach had my best intention at heart even though it didn’t seem that way at the time that it happened.
Neil: You’re Will Muschamp’s first five star recruit. What do you think about that?
DJ: It’s pretty cool. It’s also a big role to step into.
Neil: It was a great gesture to give your little sister a pacifier with a Gator logo on it to signify you becoming a Gator. We can see that you’re a big family man. Everybody talks about teams being families, and how it helps them get better. How much of that do you think you can bring to the Gators right away as a freshman?
DJ: I’ll bring that to Gainesville, definitely. I’m a natural leader because I’m the oldest sibling, and I’ve led my team for a few years now.
Neil: You said that you appreciated Muschamp’s hunger to get back to the top. Knowing you, that’s a perfect fit. How excited are you to work with a man like that? What’s it like to share that intensity with your college head coach?
DJ: It’s great, when I’m on the field I have crazy intensity myself, and we can do some big things together.
Neil: What was Muschamp’s reaction when you told him you were going to be a Gator?
DJ: Oh, he went absolutely nuts. He actually dropped the phone, and when he picked it up I could hear him go “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” and then he started screaming at his coaches that I committed.
Neil: You won’t be playing for Florida this season, but how do you think they’ll do in Muschamp’s first year?
DJ: They’ll take it back to the top. This is Florida. They’ll get back up there.
Neil: What excites you most about being a Gator?
DJ: The hunger of winning… and there’s just something about the Swamp. You just can’t help but fall in love with it.
Neil: I appreciate it DJ, thanks for your time, and GO GATORS!!!
DJ: GO GATORS!!!